Fiber Optics and Plasmonics

Nanofocusing of Light for Chemical Imaging



The goal of the research is to develop a transformative nanoscale chemical imaging microscopy based on advanced plasmonic fiber probes and use it to study optical materials and the photo-chemistry of catalysts in application-relevant environments (ambient and liquid). A simple and straightforward method of efficient coupling and focusing of the light from optical fiber photonic mode to the nanoscale plasmonic mode was developed for nanoscale chemical imaging. The device involved is a needle-like metal nano-antenna fabricated on the end facet of a photonic crystal fiber.


K. Minn, A. Anopchenko, C. Chang, R.i Mishra, J. Kim, Z. Zhang, Y. Lu, S. Gwo, and H. H. Lee, Enhanced Spontaneous Emission of Monolayer MoS2 on Epitaxially Grown Titanium Nitride Epsilon-Near-Zero Thin Films, 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00491

K. Minn, B. Birmingham, B. Ko, H.H. Lee, Z. Zhang, Interfacing photonic crystal fiber with metallic nanoantenna for enhanced light nano-focusing, Photonics Research,9(2), 2021,252-258;, highlighted by Spotlight on Optics

K. Minn, H. H. Lee, and Z. Zhang, Enhanced subwavelength coupling and nano-focusing with optical fiber-plasmonic hybrid probe, Optics Express, 27 (2019), 38098-38108 (2019), DOI 10.1364/OE.27.038098


Tip-enhanced Raman scattering on 2D materials


The objective is to advance molecular-level chemical identification of molecules on non-traditional Raman scattering materials, MoS2, for heterogeneous catalysis using a combination of the most advanced Raman spectroscopies. This research plan addresses fundamental questions that are essential for advancing SERS on newly emerged Raman-active transition metal dichalcogenides. The proposed work will advance the field of catalysis research with high sensitivity (submonolayer) and  high spatial (~10 nm) resolution.



B. Birmingham, Z. Liege, N. Larson, W. Lu, K.T. Park, Lee, H.H. Lee, D.V. Voronine, M.O. Scully and Z. Zhang, Probing Interaction between Individual Submonolayer Nanoislands and Bulk MoS2 Using Ambient TERS, J. Phys.Chem. C 2018 122(5) 2753-2760

B.A. Ko, A. Sokolov, M.O. Scully, Z. Zhang, and H.H. Lee, Enhanced Four-Wave Mixing Process Near the Excitonic Resonances of Bulk MoS2, Photonics Research, 7 (2019) 251-259, DOI 10.1364/PRJ.7.000251

D.V. Voronine, Z. Zhang, A.V. Sokolov, and M.O. Scully, Surface-Enhanced FAST CARS: En Route to Quantum Nano-Biophotonics, Nanophotonics, 2017, Invited, .

Z. He, D.V. Voronine, A.M. Sinyukov, Z.N. Liege, B. Birmingham, A.V. Sokolov, Z. Zhang, and M.O. Scully, Tip-enhanced Raman scattering on bulk MoS2 substrate, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 23 (2017), 4601006, DOI 10.1109/JSTQE.2016.2611591

A.M. Alajlan, D.V. Voronine, A.M. Sinyukov, Z. Zhang, A.V. Sokolov, and M. O. Scully, Gap-mode enhancement on MoS2 probed by functionalized tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett., 109 (2016) 133106

Aluminum plasmonic nanoparticles for sensor

We developed a simple and efficient method of synthesizing two-dimensional (2D) aluminum (Al) nanocrystals from commercially available Al foil using ultrasonic exfoliation under ambient environment. Al nanostructures can be used for optical sensing and imaging applications.


W. Lu, B. Birmingham, D. Voronine, D. Stolpman, S. Ambardar, D. Altunoz Erdogan, E. Ozensoy, Z. Zhang, T. Solouki, From aluminum foil to two-dimensional nanocrystals using ultrasonic exfoliation,   J. Phys. Chem. C 2021, 125, 14, 7746–7755.

J. Kunz, D.V. Voronine, W. Lu, Z. Liege, H.H. Lee, Z. Zhang, and M.O. Scully, Aluminum plasmonic nanoshielding in ultraviolet inactivation of bacteria, Scientific Reports, 2017, 7 (2017) 9026